Afcon 2021 is inching ever close to its belated conclusion and this weekend marks the start of the final-eight, with Burkina Faso and Tunisia both edging their way through the first knockout phase. The Stallions required penalties to see off Gabon, while The Eagles of Carthage beat Nigeria by a slender 1-0 margin.
Burkina Faso have reached the quarter-finals having only won the single game during regulation time, beating Cape Verde 1-0 — one of the many low-scoring fixtures — on matchday two. Kamou Malo’s side finished second in Group A after losing to Cameroon and mustering only a draw against bottom club Ethiopia.
Tunisia haven’t fared much better. Mondher Kebaier’s men endured a disappointing group-stage campaign, but made the knockouts as one of the best third-placed nations after finishing below Mali and Gambia. Nigeria, therefore, would have fancied their chances in the round-of-16 but just came unstuck.
Tunisia are one-time winners of this competition, claiming the coveted prize in 2004 as the host nation, but Burkina Faso are trophyless, though they have enjoyed some success in recent years, finishing as runners-up in 2013 and third last time out, so they know what is required to navigate these decisive rounds.
CLICK HERE to claim. 18+ only. *New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. Full T&Cs apply.
Burkina Faso vs Tunisia: Match Stats
Both nations have talismanic presences who could sway the outcome of this fixture. For Tunisia, Wahbi Khazri dons the armband and has the responsibility of unlocking doors. A skilful goalscorer, Khazri combines dazzling dribbling ability with a predilection for the occasional screamer. In fact, since the 2018/19 season in Ligue 1, only Teji Savanier (nine) has scored more goals from outside the box than Khazri (eight), so he may fancy his chances from long range here. The 30-year-old has already nabbed twice this tournament, bagging a brace against Mauritania, the second of which is a must-watch. Dummying a ball into the box, Khazri manoeuvred expertly to reclaim the ball off Ghaylen Chaaleli and fire past a hapless Babacar Diop.
For Burkina Faso, Bertrand Traore is the standout name. His goal against Gabon last time out ensured penalties transpired after Adama Guira’s own goal in the dying embers, and while his missed his spot-kick in the subsequent shootout, the tricky Aston Villa winger will be determined to make amends and enhance his nation’s chances of sealing an unexpected semi-final slot. With an assist against Cameroon as well, Traore has been directly involved in two of Burkina Faso’s three goals at Afcon 2021, and he will be hoping to add to that this weekend.
06 Sep 2008 – Burkina Faso 0-0 Tunisia – World Cup Qualifier
01 May 2008 – Tunisia 1-2 Burkina Faso – World Cup Qualifier
21 Feb 1998 – Tunisia 1-1 Burkina Faso – AFCON
29 Nov 1995 – Tunisia 3-0 Burkina Faso – Friendly
Burkina Faso and Tunisia actually met at this stage of the 2017 competition, with the former running out 2-0 victors to reach the semis. Aristide Bance and Prejuce Nakoulma were the scorers on the day, with Traore assisting the opening goal, and Khazri firing an atypical blank.